The honour is in recognition of Dr Harper’s services to visually impaired people abroad.
Sightsavers works in more than 30 countries across Africa and Asia to help blind people to see again, and prevent people from going blind wherever it can. It also improves the lives of people with disabilities, particularly those who have permanent sight loss. Dr Harper has been CEO of Sightsavers for more than a decade, and over that time the organisation has grown significantly in both income and impact, last year examining over 12.8 million people and performing over 271,000 life changing operations.
Dr Harper, commenting on her CBE appointment, said: “I see this very much as an honour for Sightsavers: its staff, partners and donors who make the work of the organisation possible. So many people have been prevented from going blind, or have had their sight restored, as a result of these efforts.
“I am also proud of the results we have achieved in terms of advocating for the rights of people with disabilities, and the ‘leave no one behind’ theme of the recently agreed Global Goals. These goals will be the bedrock on which future development will be built, and we should see far more inclusive development as a result.
“I am extremely pleased to accept this honour, and hope to continue to lead this organisation of which I am so proud into the future. There is much more to do.”
The life-changing work of Sightsavers was shared earlier this year in an Unreported World Documentary, The Fight for Sight, examining the challenges faced by those in Malawi living with blindness caused by straight-forward causes such as cataract. The heart-warming story of 14-year-old Rose seeing herself, and her family for the first time, has been viewed by more than 10 million people.
Andrea Pregel shares his experiences of planning Sightsavers’ new initiative in Nampula, which will provide free eye care to thousands of people.
A round-up from the field, including news from India, where a book has been published to highlight Sightsavers’ work in the coastal Sundarbans region.